Trump Admin Prods Indonesia to Recognize Israel With Promise of $2 Billion in Aid

A congressional aide with ties to the Democratic leadership says that Indonesians should be wary of the proposal weeks ahead of Biden's inauguration

JTA
Ron Kampeas
A motorist passes Muslims performing Friday prayer wearing masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus outside a crowded mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 2, 2020.
A motorist passes Muslims performing Friday prayer wearing masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus outside a crowded mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 2, 2020.Credit: Dita Alangkara/AP Photo
JTA
Ron Kampeas

A top Trump administration official wants to leverage development aid to have Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, recognize Israel.

Adam Boehler, the CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., told Bloomberg that Indonesia could get $1 billion to $2 billion more in development aid if it joins the rush being organized by the Trump administration in its final days to have Arab and Muslim countries openly recognize Israel.

Bibi gets immunity – just not the kind he really wants. LISTEN to Haaretz Weekly podcastCredit: Haaretz

“We’re talking to them about it,” Boehler said. “If they’re ready, they’re ready, and if they are then we’ll be happy to even support more financially than what we do.”

In a bid led by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner — President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a longtime friend of Boehler — the administration is pushing normalization agreements between Israel and Arab and Muslim states as the president nears the end of his term. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have signed agreements, and Morocco and Sudan are said to be close to deals.

A congressional aide with ties to the Democratic leadership told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Indonesians should be wary of the proposal weeks ahead of the January 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“If I were the Indonesians, I wouldn’t bank on any promises the administration is making now,” said the aide, who asked not to be named to speak frankly. “The Development Finance Corp. was designed as a development tool, not an incentive for political developments.”

Biden has welcomed the previous agreements, but Democrats have criticized their transactional nature. The UAE is getting stealth fighter jets, Morocco is getting recognition of its occupation of Western Sahara and Sudan is being removed from the U.S. list of stats that back terrorists.

It’s not clear whether Biden will abide by any of these agreements.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

נתניהו עם כיפה שחורה על הראש נשען בשתי ידיו על הכותל

Israel Is Heading for Its Most 'Jewish' Election Ever

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews